Home Read What's New Join
My Account Login

Read Our Devotional             2016 Opportunities to be Published             Detailed Navigation

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge



how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level


submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners

Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.



how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: At the Pulpit (11/15/07)

TITLE: Faith Not Forgotten
By Lynda Lee Schab
~1st Place


For probably the millionth time, Linda watched her father preach. He had always been a dynamic speaker, who could invoke the kind of emotion that had you holding your sides from laughter one minute and bawling like a baby the next.

Kind of like what Linda was doing now.

She swiped at a tear as the memories bombarded her mind...

Five years old... Watching Daddy behind the big wooden “Bible stand,” as she called it. Eyes fixed on his face as she listened to his animated stories about Noah and Jonah and Abraham. And Jesus, of course. And when her daddy's eye caught hers in the middle of a sermon, his face broke into a great big smile and he gave her a knowing wink. While she didn’t understand everything he said back then, what she did understand was that her daddy loved her.

Twelve years old...Arms folded across her chest, huge scowl plastered on her face, looking everywhere but at
him. She hated that her dad was the pastor. Hated being called "P.K." Despised being known as, “goody-two-shoes.” She did a pretty good job of tuning him out every Sunday. Church became a time for dreaming up ways to coerce her dad into changing professions.

Linda shook her head and smiled through her tears. Man, she had been a brat. She'd deserved a lot more than the scoldings (and the razor-blade elbow pokes) she got from her mother.

Seventeen years old...Sitting in the back row, giggling with her girlfriends as they passed notes back and forth about the boys they liked and the parties they wanted to attend. Ignoring the looks from other members of the congregation. She could care less what people said about her or whether she was embarrassing her father. He’d get over it.

Twenty-five...scribbling furiously in her notebook, trying to capture every word of wisdom her father poured forth. He always had fresh and thought-provoking ways of looking at God’s Word. She never walked away from his sermons without some new insight into scripture. And she always left the santuary excited about putting her faith into practice.

Now, Linda leaned back and just listened. She’d sat through this particular message several times but somehow it managed to encourage her more and more every time she heard it.

“Always remember...God never forgets. You think what you’ve done has gone unnoticed but there is someone who is watching. God sees the work you have done and will reward you.” Her father’s voice was gentle, yet firm.

Linda closed her eyes, relishing the moment. She breathed a prayer that he would stay calm until the end but, as she feared, his tone soon transformed into loud and belligerent. By the time Linda opened her eyes, her father was looking around, eyes wild and frantic.

“Where is my water? Who forgot to bring my water?” He bellowed.

It was time.

Linda stepped out to motion for help. She caught Ann Marie’s eye and together they hurried to the front of the room and up the stairs to the podium.

Linda touched her father’s arm. “Dad? Let’s go back to your room, okay? Jeopardy will be starting soon.” She said it softly, tenderly, so as not to upset him more.

“Someone stole my water." He yanked his arm away. “And I haven’t finished the message. I have to finish so I don’t forget it. Hebrews 6:10. Hebrews 6:10.” He mumbled the verse over and over again as Linda and the nurse led him slowly down the stairs and out of the manor’s small community room.

Linda blinked back more tears and patted his back. “It was a wonderful sermon, Dad. You did great.”

Once in his room, she settled him into his favorite chair and turned on the television. She sat down on the couch and offered up a prayer of thanks for her father. His memory was fading but it seemed he would never forget his faith.

More importantly, just as her father had taught so many times, God would always remember the important work her dad had done over the years.

The truth was, her father had touched many people from behind that pulpit and had left a firm imprint of the love of Christ on thousands of hearts.

She smiled at her dad through her tears as her heart swelled. At that moment, Linda felt that the biggest imprint of all was left on hers.

Accept Jesus as Your Savior Right Now and be Certain of Eternal Life.

Join Us at FaithWriters and Grow as a Christian Writer.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.

This article has been read 1440 times

Like this article? Please promote the author by commenting below
and clicking like to post their article to Facebook.

Member Comments
Member Date
Shayne Catoe11/22/07
I loved the transitions in your story. The final one was beautiful. The one thing that did not disappear was his faith. You portrayed an accurate journey in the life of a girl. This was a touching story.
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/22/07
As a preacher's daughter, I really identified with this excellently written story with the beautiful message.
Joanne Sher 11/24/07
This absolutely touched me. Lovely and heartfelt. Wonderful.
Elisheva Hartley11/24/07
I loved this and it was very well written.
Dee Yoder 11/25/07
So beautiful! This story brought tears to my eyes for my Dad has Alzheimer's, and though he was not a minister, he touched hearts as a good Christian man all through his life. I like the message that GOD remembers what was accomplished in the years when men like your Dad were in their prime, though the world tends to forget.
Laury Hubrich 11/25/07
I really like how you progressed the daughter through the years. This ended very sad but so awesome that the man's faith is still there when his other memories have faded.
william price11/28/07
Above and beyond outstanding. I could really identify. God bless.
Temple Miller11/28/07
Wow! I loved the passage of time and calling the ending a surprise, or twist, is such an understatement. Very powerful. As a PK, I'm quite moved.
Sheri Gordon11/28/07
This is very good. I was with the daughter through all her stages and emotions -- and your kept me wanting to read more. Really good writing.

Okay, so I have one minor issue. You write that "she could care less," and the correct saying is "she couldn't care less." People use that incorrectly all the time -- and, my bad, it's a huge pet peeve of mine, and my son's. Guess he got that from me. :)

Nice job with the topic -- and what a wonderful daughter.
Jan Ackerson 11/28/07
Oh, how melancholy, but full of tenderness and grace. A bittersweet story, masterfully written.
LauraLee Shaw11/28/07
I am crying. This story left an imprint on me.
Loren T. Lowery11/28/07
This father's legacy is a wonderful testament to the infallible spirit that lives within all of us despite the crumbling earthly foundation that can so easily distract us from the truth.
Sharlyn Guthrie11/28/07
This is so good, and a very touching portrait of a wonderful father/daughter relationship.
Betty Castleberry11/28/07
This is poignant and touching. The flow is great, and I just loved it!
Kristen Hester11/28/07
Excellent! I loved seeing Linda transition through the different stages of her life. I loved watching her still care for and love her father. Very powerful and moving. SSShhhheee's Back!
LaNaye Perkins11/28/07
You truly are a master. This made me cry and kept me till the last sentence. Beautiful writing!
Sheri Gordon11/29/07
Congratulations on your 1st place. This is a beautiful picture of a father/daughter relationship. Great job.
Mariane Holbrook 11/29/07
Oh my goodness! I wasn't prepared for this and started crying when I realized where you were going with it. What a great portrait of a great man in a body and mind that became frail over time. Thank God our lives are hid with Christ in God. Beautiful job! Masterfully told!
Karen Wilber11/29/07
A tender story, beautifully written, with a powerful message. Your portrayal of dementia/Alzheimer's is so realistic. Congrats on 1st place EC.
Yvonne Blake 11/29/07
Wow! You deserved 1st place. I was a PK and recongnize the different stages. The end brought tears. Congratulations!
Cari Weber11/29/07
Congrats, Lynda!!! Great story!
Lisa Holloway11/30/07
Great job capturing the different stages of life--for the father and the daughter. I really enjoyed this entry.
Dixie Phillips12/01/07
This has to be my all-time "Lynda Schab" favorite.... A contender indeed for the BOB Award....

In a day and age of cold blooded cynicism, your inspirational story warmed my heart.
Janice Fitzpatrick12/03/07
Wow Lynda! Congrats hon! This is awesome and(sniff),a heart tugger. I love the flow from one passage of time to another. I wasn't sure how you would end this but I love the conclusion.Great job kiddo! Miss talkin' with ya and all at FW. I'm coming back hopefully this next challenge-depends-it's just been busy for us,etc,yada,yada, ydada.:0)Janice God bless all!Hugs!
Marilyn Schnepp 12/06/07
By the looks of the fan mail, I can see that my "judging" of this entry (along with my co-horts) wasn't incorrect. As I read it and rated it, I could empathize - as my father too...(which I wrote about) suffered likewise with this heartwrenching problem. Great writing! Congratulations!